Missouri “Stealth Statute Requires Redaction of All Witness and Victim Names” in Court Records
As lawyers read new Missouri judicial opinions, they will find that something is missing. There are no names, except for defendants. In court opinions, Missouri has become the State of Unnamed Persons.
The names of witnesses in Missouri court cases have become a state secret. This is so even for the names of public officials, like prosecutors, and other people who expect to be in the public eye, like trial lawyers. Some recent court opinions mention scores of witnesses—but none of them, except the parties, are named.
The same is true of the names of victims. They are secret, and do not appear in court decisions. Yes, this applies even to murder victims, who are deceased and under the common law have no right of privacy, since that right is confined to the living.
This is not a joke or a fantasy. It is really happening. You can see it in Missouri appellate decisions issued in September and October 2023, which (with only a very few exceptions in my rese
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